Is Google Reader being phased-out?

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What happened to the shortcut to Google Reader within Gmail? It used to be right there next to documents. Now, “Photos” is in its place…

To get to Google Reader now is a three-step process. You must click more, scroll down to reader, and click on it. Not so slick anymore.

It’s obvious that Reader is a lower priority for Google. The smartphone experience is abysmal. There haven’t been improvements in the standard Reader experience in years. Half the functionality has been replicated within Google Buzz.

Is this the beginning of the end of RSS within Google? I sure hope not, but the writing is on the wall.

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